ALEX Classroom Resource


Cells 2: The Cell as a System

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Cells 2: The Cell as a System


Content Source:

Science NetLinks
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan


This lesson is the second of a two-part series on cells. This lesson encourages students to view the cell as a system. Students will begin to understand the cell as a system by exploring a more familiar and tangible example of a system: a factory. Throughout the lesson, students will compare the factory to a cell, beginning to understand how both can be thought of as a system. The first lesson in this series is Cells 1: Make a Model Cell.

Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
Life Science
3 ) Construct an explanation of the function (e.g., mitochondria releasing energy during cellular respiration) of specific cell structures (i.e., nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, ribosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts, and vacuoles) for maintaining a stable environment.

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L8.1b: All organisms are composed of cells, from one cell only to many cells. About two-thirds of the weight of cells is accounted for by water, which gives cells many of their properties. In multicellular organisms, specialized cells perform specialized functions. Organs and organ systems are composed of cells and function to serve the needs of cells for food, air, and waste removal. The way in which cells function is similar in all living organisms.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Structure and Function
Disciplinary Core Idea: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Use multiple valid and reliable sources for evidence.
  • Explain, based on gathered evidence, the function of specific cell structures and how each organelle helps to maintain a stable environment.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Explanation
  • Structure
  • Function
  • Organelle
  • Nucleus
  • Cell membrane
  • Cell wall
  • Ribosome
  • Mitochondria
  • Chloroplast
  • Vacuole
  • Homeostasis
  • System
  • Valid
  • Reliable
Students know:
  • Function of organelles (i.e., nucleus, cell membrane, cell wall, ribosome, mitochondria, chloroplast, vacuole).
  • Roles of organelles in maintaining a stable environment.
  • Key differences between animal and plant cells (e.g., Plant cells have a cell wall, chloroplasts, etc.).
Students are able to:
  • Articulate a statement that relates a given phenomenon to a scientific idea, including how different parts of a cell contribute to how the cell functions as a whole, both separately and together with other structures.
Students understand that:
  • The function of an organelle contributes to the overall function of the cell, both separately and together with other organelles, to maintain a stable environment.
  • Organelles function together as parts of a system (the cell).
  • Organelles function together as parts of a system that determines cellular function.
  • Energy is required to maintain a stable environment.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence
Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.7.3- Label the nucleus of a cell in a cell diagram; distinguish at least one structural difference between plant and animal cells (e.g., cell wall, chloroplasts); match specific cell structures (e.g., nucleus, cell wall, cell membrane) with their functions.

Tags: cell, nucleus, system
License Type: Custom Permission Type
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  This resource provided by:  
Author: Stephanie Carver